Porto Santo Municipality in Madeira Island

Porto Santo

Porto Santo

Porto Santo Municipality in Madeira Island

Porto Santo has 42.48 square kilometers area. It is one of the six municipalities of Portugal that have a single parish, which has the same name. It is often referred to as the Golden island by the islanders.
 
The Porto Santo Island was discovered in 1418 by João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, a year before the Madeira Island.
According to the story goes the same, Christopher Columbus inhabited this island, having married one of the daughters of his first captain donee Bartolomeu Perestrelo.
 
Because of the successive pirate attacks from Barbary and others on the island, among which stood out the attack in 1619, in which perished or was enslaved almost the entire population with the exception of only 18 men and 7 women, Philip III of Spain sought to repopulate the island, determining the construction of a fort to protect the people.
According to the Madeiran Elucidário, the governor of Porto Santo, Martim Mendes de Vasconcelos, was strongly interested in the recovery and maintenance of the island.
 
The Captaincy of Porto Santo was abolished in 1770.
The county was created in 1835 and the seat of the municipality is the city of Vila Baleira.